A Connecticut mother was arrested on Aug. 17 after police found that she kept five children in "deplorable" conditions and forced them to eat dog food.
Middletown Press reports that police and fire officials came to the mother's residence while responding to an emergency call about an air-conditioner fire. They determined that the fire was caused by a cigarette that was thrown out of the third-floor window.
They also learned that the third-floor apartment had a number of other health and safety issues. The rear exit was completely blocked by trash, and health officials determined that water from the bathroom was leaking into the second-floor ceiling, causing it to cave in.
Officers made their way into the apartment in question, owned by 27-year-old Chloe Edwards, and were immediately "taken back by the smell." Tribune Media Wire reports that the entire unit was covered in urine, feces, food and cockroach carcasses. There were also a number of exposed electrical sockets and a 3- to 4-foot pile of trash.
As flies continuously buzzed around the apartment, officers made their way into the two bedrooms, which were in equally bad condition. One bedroom had three beds with broken frames and no sheets or pillows. The mattresses were stained with dog vomit, feces and other liquids, according to WVIT. The floor was also covered in cigarettes, beer cans and dried spaghetti.
The other bedroom also had beds with no sheets or pillows and stained mattresses. On the floor, police found a folding knife on the floor in addition to a number of exposed nails on wooden boards.
Five children were also found in the apartment, four of whom belonged to Edwards. The fifth was reported missing by her mother weeks prior.
While waiting for officials from the Department of Children and Families to arrive, two of the children began eating dry dog food they found on the floor, telling officers that they were hungry.
The refrigerator contained only two jars of sauce, one can of pasta and two small jars of baby food. The kitchen itself was covered in flies and cockroaches and the sink was full of dirty dishes.
Edwards was charged with five counts of risk of injury and was placed in custody with bond set at $10,000. Her next court appearance is set for Aug. 25.
Her four children have been taken into custody by the Department of Children and Families and the apartment has been declared "unfit for occupancy."